I have always been fascinated with New York City. The glitz of Broadway. The glamour of the 5th Avenue. The swankiness of the Upper East Side. I have dreamed about visiting for years and breathing it all in. Tomorrow, I will hit Central Park for the first time.
However, if someone told me 13 years ago that I would be going to NYC, for the first time, packing a double stroller, sneakers, My Little Pony and Star Wars underwear I would have laughed out loud. Thirteen years ago, this May, I was graduating high school and my senior class of 400 voted me the "most likely to travel to foreign lands." I spent that entire summer sleeping on roof tops in Pamplona and the beaches of Ibiza. Life was fabulous.
I started college. Met a boy. Got married, on purpose. Had. Three. Kids.
My life had changed. I could not continue sleeping on beaches forever. My life is better. My kids have opened up my eyes and the world is now a new place for me to re-discover. Yesterday, at the grocery store, I picked up 10 new cloth bags and Jay asked me why I was buying them. "Well, what junk food is to your body... plastic bags are to the earth." This simple trip to the store sparked an entire afternoon conversation loaded with interesting questions. The world is a different place. I have questions to answer and a purpose to live.
So, although I would have probably laughed 13 years ago had I known I would be packing sneakers instead of stilettos to NYC, I am anxious to see the city through the eyes of my children. I can't wait to run through the park and chase pigeons. I can't wait for their first subway ride. I can't wait to push them in the stroller pass Fao Schwartz. I can't wait to see if they sleep through the mariachi band, outside of my sister's flat. I can't wait to experience it with them.
Had someone told me I would be a SAHM of three in Ohio, I probably would have traveled a lot more extensively. And even though, 13 years ago, I envisioned my first trip to NYC to be full of club hopping, stiletto wearing, innocent flirting chaos I would not trade my travel companions and the memories we will create this weekend.
What are you going to eat in NYC, Lola? "I will actually try the New York Chicken. But no adult foods like tomatoes and pickles." Where can I find New York chicken? I need to google that tonight.
What are you going to buy in NYC, Jay? "The biggest Star Wars Legos in Fao Schwartz and some jewelry for Babcia (his grandma) so she can be beautiful." Babcia promised, over the phone, to buy the kiddos ANYTHING they wanted at Fao Schwartz.
What are you most excited about, Lola? "I am so excited to sleep in the same bed as Kash!" It is a good thing I spent over a $1,000 for a sleepover.
What are you most excited about, Jay? "To bring home the world's largest Star Wars Legos. I will carry it myself on the plane if it doesn't fit in our luggage." I am so happy he can reason.
PS. I am still packing my heels even though my blister has not healed. Sometimes looking good hurts.
PSS. I am going to miss Mr. OHmommy and Fifi so bad. That hurts too.